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…& STILL Swollen (!!!) So I Tried Acupuncture

an acupuncture story | by the skinny confidential

Hi, hi, hi.

So I am still swollen.

YES. Still.

The doctor said with jaw surgery it can take a full year to go completely back to normal. It’s been about 6 months so I kind of, sort of have a way to go.

Most people don’t even notice I’m swollen, but it’s weird because obviously I know my body…& I can really just feel I’m still swollen.

In some areas I’m still numb too, which is entirely normal after jaw surgery.

So on that note, I wanted to share something with you guys that’s really been helping my swelling: ACUPUNCTURE.

Now let’s get one thing straight, shall we?



LIKE it’s difficult for me to even stomach the photo above. EW, EW, EW.

I legit have Vasovagal…aka known to faint.

Pretty much needles gross me out more ANYTHING.

So it’s a bit odd that I actually like acupuncture.

To be real, acupuncture was a big NO in my book until 2 months ago. A lot of my friends recommended going & I flat out refused.

Then one morning I woke up & said, “F IT. I’m trying acupuncture for this damn swelling. What do I have to lose?”

So off I went to Mr. Acupuncture-ist.

After arriving at the office I was taken to a tiny room.

“Lay down”, he said, “relax.”

HA. I was hardly relaxed. Needles all over my body? Thanks, but really no thanks.

I laid down on the table, closed my eyes, & began to really listen to the mediation music.

Hmmm. Peaceful, I thought.

First off he told me my lymph nodes were still swollen a bit. So he popped the tiniest, thinnest needle into each lymph node.

Not painful.

Immediately I got this sensation of relaxation. It was almost like my lymph node relaxed outward away from the needle.

Sounds strange, but I swear I’m not making this up.

Then he told me he could see the swelling around my jaw line, chin, & lips. He placed needles in specific points around the lower half of my face.

The lip area was the most tender because there’s A LOT of nerves by your lips.

Actually in retrospect, I would say the lip area ‘hurt’ the most on the whole body. Now when I say ‘hurt’ I don’t mean like it really hurt, I just mean it was a bit uncomfortable for a second.

After that area , Mr. Acupuncturist placed a needle in the middle of my forehead to promote relaxation.

Oh me, oh my did it promote relaxation.

Immediately my entire body relaxed. IMMEDIATELY. Total witch doctor, voo-doo shit but I SWEAR I was so, so relaxed.

He then went on to place needles in my feet ( a vulnerable spot for some reason…I didn’t LOVE my feet area being touched ), my hands, & another point on my neck.

The weirdest part of the whole experience is when he slightly pushed the needles in a bit more. WEIRD, WEIRD, WEIRD. But not painful.

When all the needles were in ( it took like 3-ish minutes ) he announced he was leaving the room for a bit. Mmmkay.

And then dark.

Without having any stimulation you’d think I’d be bored. But actually I really wasn’t bored at all, I was completely relaxed. I would go as far to say I was in a full blown meditative state. RAD. Especially for someone like me who’s constantly high strung.

To describe the experience more in depth: the needles almost act as relaxers. Once a needle is placed somewhere specific your body sort of relaxed outward from that spot.

After about 20 minutes he came in, removed the needles ( & kind of woke me up ), flipped me over ( that sounds risqué ) & cupped me.

…Wait, get your mind out of the gutter. He CUPPED ME, like he performed cupping therapy on my back. That’s for a whole different post though. We’ll save that for later.

SO, acupuncture! He said results would happen in 12 to 24 hours.

I said goodbye & off I went.

Fast forward to about 5 hours later & bible, my swelling on my jaw area was down 50%. I can’t make this up. No one is making me say this. It’s a fact.

Then 10-ish hours later it was down even more. Literally I could not believe what a difference there was— my still swollen area was WAY, WAY down.

( I can also report I felt GREAT vibes all day. Very mellow, less anxiety, just chill ).


Actually the peacefulness of the entire experience was kind of addictive.

Here’s the thing: I’m a big believer in Eastern medicine & holistic practices. Especially after traveling to Beijing, China. There’s so much to learn, so much information, & proven history.

After researching acupuncture in depth I found out it’s proven to raise energy levels, improve the immune system, help with stress levels, weight loss, sleep, change, patience, & anxiety. Acupuncture can also help cure numbness AKA regaining sensation ( << YES!! ).



See? I wasn’t crazy.

So I’ve been back every week since. I love it so far. Will keep you updated.

For any of you wanting a more clear explanation? Well basically “acupuncture is a traditional Chinese method that uses pressure points located in the hands and feet to treat a variety of conditions. Acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine and a key component of traditional Chinese medicine involving thin needles inserted into the body at acupuncture points. It can be associated with the application of heat, pressure, or laser light to these same points. Acupuncture is commonly used for pain relief, though it is also used for a wide range of other conditions. There is a diverse range of acupuncture approaches, involving different philosophies.”

If you’re dealing with any of the above I highly recommend you find someone who specializes in acupuncture. Give it a try & let me know what you think.

And of course, if you’ve done acupuncture before, SPILL, SHARE, DETAILS below.

Oh! & if you just want a quick laugh? Head over to Snapchat to see The Nanz talk about BJ. She’s just like acupuncture, I swear she really helps with stress levels ; ).

Until next time, lauryn x

+ & as always, do your own research! Consult your doctor before trying anything new or out of your comfort zone | via.

  1. I’m so glad you tried acupuncture!! As an acupuncturist (and someone who loves The Skinny Confidential) every time you would post about your jaw surgery I would just wonder when you were going to get your butt into a clinic!

    Something else it’s fantastic at you should include: women’s health. I know people don’t want to talk about their periods and blah blah but if you get cramps/migraines/really any PMS acupuncture will KNOCK that out so fast. It’s amazing to me how many women think they have “normal” periods but have been suffering for years every. single. month.

    Anyway, I’m so glad your swelling is going down and you’re feeling better!

    1. Hi Katie, I know ahh! I can’t believe it took me so long to try it, now I’m obsessed. Why does it help with periods? Is it because it reduces inflammation or just because it facilitates overall balance? I would love to know more since you’re a pro! xx

    2. One of the primary ways acupuncture works is by influencing and balancing production of hormones. Since hormones are in charge of almost all of your body processes, acupuncture can affect just about any system. Issues with periods/PMS/and fertility are usually the result of abnormal hormone balances so, by fixing this, it can correct the underlying issues that are causing the problems in the first place!

  2. I recently– out of nowhere– had MAJOR knee pain, with no prior history of it. I tried everything, chiropractor, massage, icing, changing my diet, exercise, yoga, and stretching — to no relief. I was so distraught because I had no idea what was causing me so much tremendous pain, I was like, “Okay I give up, let’s try acupuncture too”. My doctor changed my life. He’s SO great and reduced my knee pain in one hour 80%. It was AMAZING the whole experience and way he changed blood flow and drainage. I wanted to cry just because finally I found help and relief. So I definitely resonate on this post with you. More eastern medicine tips and tricks!

    1. Hi Sam, wow! Your story is so inspiring and I’m so happy you found relief. I can relate because being swollen after my surgery has been so uncomfortable, acupuncture is a total game changer! Does acupuncture make you sleepy or energized? I hear it’s different for different people. Thanks for reading

    2. Sam & Lauryn Im inspired i have pain and discomfort all over and most nights in tears and pain in knees heat helps but now im going to look into finding a provider in my area and try acupuncture.
      Thanks for sharing and best wishes

  3. I’ve had pretty bad bloating and gas my entire life, which I have in the past 4 years reduced A LOT from changing my diet. But before all that I started acupuncture. And it was amazing! I’d get home from an acupuncture session and meet up with my boyfriend and he would say “you had acupuncture today didn’t you?” The first time he said this I was really confused, and when I asked what made him say that he said “your stomach is flat.” Its amazing. Made the bloating go down for a couple days after I got it. And overtime the first needle was put on me somewhere my stomach would immediately start making noises.
    I totally swear by acupuncture!

    1. Hi Lara, wow your story is intense! Bloat is literally the worst, it’s so uncomfortable! I’m so glad you found relief. Are you taking probiotics regularly? How are your stress levels? If you’re experiencing regular bloat you may want to adjust your diet and vitamin regiment to cleanse your gut.

      Check out these two posts for some gut health tips:

      We’re going to get you bloat free! It’s going to happen! LOL.

      Thanks for reading

  4. I want to try acupuncture so badly! I met with an Eastern Medicine doctor on a cruise last October (A lot of spas have them now), and if I’d had the money, I would’ve done it then. Glad it was a great experience for you!

    1. Hi Beks, do you have insurance? The place I go to takes insurance! If you’re in San Diego check them out ( ), if not, maybe try looking on YELP to see which places near you take insurance or have reasonable prices?

      You’ll love it I promise! xx

  5. Acupuncture is great, even for babies! There are also these tiny tiny needles that they put near your ear and you leave the office and they come out by themselves in 3-7 days and they help little by little over the course of the week and you don’t even know that they are there!

    1. Hi Angelica, that’s amazing! I want to try the little needles but do they hurt? When you sleep or touch them do you feel them? Or are they literally so small you can’t tell? LMK I definitely need to know about these mini needles. Thanks for reading

  6. Hi Lauryn!
    I follow you on snapchat and I saw that you have been going to cryotherapy sessions.
    I was wondering what your thoughts were on it and if you would do a post on it! I am dying to try it but would love to hear your take!



    1. Hi Sarah, a post is coming soon on this I promise! I am literally obsessed. It’s so great for inflammation. The best way to describe it is ONE, it’s VERY cold. TWO, you’re blood / body feels full of life after. It’s great. I’ll post about it soon I promise! xx

  7. Ahhhh I love this post! I’ve been getting acupuncture for the past 5 weeks to help with swelling in my hands during pregnancy. You can follow along on my blog posts.

    So happy you enjoyed it! It has helped with the swelling in my hands tremendously!!

    1. Thanks for sharing, what else are you doing for pregnancy swelling? What do you think works best for you? xx

  8. Acupuncture is my FAVORITE! It has resolved so many issues for me— namely inflammation. As much as I love massages and other body treatments, NOTHING has done as much for me as acupuncture did. I had horrible tendonitis in my elbow, wrist & thumb (to the point where my doctor wanted to do “exploratory surgery”) and I tried acupuncture as a last ditch effort before I caved for surgery. And it has healed me! Go often and tell your acupuncturist any little thing that is bothering you and I guarantee it will help. So glad you tried it! So many people don’t want to because of the needles but you get over that part so fast.

    1. Hi Kate, I love your story. It’s seriously insane how much acupuncture helps. The benefits are endless. Its definitely a sign that energy in the body needs to be balanced. Being unbalanced creates so many issues. I’m glad you avoided surgery! Keep us posted on the longterm benefits you’re noticing

  9. I’ve been wanting to try it forever and now I’m officially going to pull the trigger!

    Can you do a post on the facial that you just got on snapchat? Are they worth it?

    1. Hi Savanna, yes it’s totally worth it! It’s one of my favorite facials. You should try it I promise you’ll love it! xx

  10. I just had acupuncture twice in one week! I was having severe stomach pains and vomiting and and terrible, um bowel issues. I went to the doctors, urgent care, had blood tests, and a CT scan and they found nothing. My acupuncturist had me stick out my tongue, felt my pulse, discussed my symptoms and promptly told me i had parasites.

    After my first session (needles in my wrists, behind my ears, in my stomach and feet) i stopped having digestive issues but still had pain. I went back the next day and she gave me some herbs and my pain stopped that day! I went in two days later to follow up and she gave me more acupuncture to boost my immune system to keep fighting off my bugs and give me more energy and I feel AWESOME.

    I love that this helped me when expensive doctors visits couldn’t and honestly, lying on a table listening to music with a heat lamp on me and needles stuck in me is way more relaxing and inviting than sitting in a CT machine with an IV and shitty hospital gown.

    1. Hi Megan, YIKES. Your pre-acupuncture experience sounds MISERABLE. I’m so glad you found acupuncture and it worked for you. Do you know what the parasites are from? Did your acupuncturist recommend you go get your stool sample tested ( gross I know ) to make sure you’re parasite free?? Be careful parasites can seriously drain your immune system and steal vital nutrients from your body. If you continue to have symptoms make sure you follow up! xx

  11. This was SO interesting! I’ll admit, I initially had the mindset when I saw the title like “cool, but not for me” bc I HATE needles (not like tattoo gun needles, but LONG, THIN needles ahh). Then I read your qualms with needles, which are seriously the exact same for me. I’ve been told constantly that I need to get acupuncture to help with my anxiety, but I’ve always just shrugged it off. But I think it is because I never really understood it? And now I feel like I do understand so much better from this post? I am DEF looking into this (and maybe I’ll drag my bf!) – Did you keep your eyes closed the entire time? I think I would totally freak out if I SAW the needles sticking out.

    That is amazing that you noticed such great results with the swelling right away. I feel you on holistic healing, and the proven history of it. I am seriously intrigued and will def look into acupuncturists here! Thank you so much for sharing your experience! xx

    1. Hi Shannon, honestly you don’t even really notice the needles. I guess since they’re on you and you’re laying down you don’t see them as much. If you’re laying on your stomach you definitely don’t see them. If you’re laying on your back you can look at them if you want, but they’re so small that it’s no big deal. They’re nothing like doctor shot needles, literally 1/100th the size! xx

  12. Austin swears by acupuncture, and so does my mom! I definitely want to try it…need it purely for stress relief!! Xo


  13. You look awesome, girl. Not swollen, but I feel ya!

    I totally believe all of this! I got it once, in NYC, but didn’t feel like a specific need for it? So didn’t feel any results, but I think that the lymph node things is super interesting and just for overall relaxation. I just have it as one of those things with massage or Reiki where I’m like yes I will do that again.

    Whose your doc babe? Are they in SD?

    As always thanks for sharing! Love reading your ish

    1. Hi Krista, I go to FIX ( ) they’re amazing! Located in SD :)) Thanks for reading!

  14. When I was about twelve years old my step-father changed his profession from being a construction worker to studying to become an acupuncturist. I can say ten years later that acupuncture and the philosophy of traditional Chinese medicine will not just affect your health, it will change your life.

    …. also, when living with a burgeoning acupuncturist (who has gone on to treat celebrities) I got to have the wonderful experience that ANY time I mentioned a malady he would chase me around the house with a needle until I settled down on the couch so he could cure me. The man has no tolerance for living with an illness that you’re not actively doing anything about.

    Proud of you for trying something new that scares you!

    It’s also kind of awesome that it’s one of the few things that lives up to its stratosphere-level hype. And it’s 2,000 years old.

    1. Hi Rachel, okay seriously… I am semi jealous you can get acupuncture anytime you need it! That must be amazing! Do you just feel completely balanced all the time? Must be so nice. I definitely enjoy it, I’m hoping to continue going regularly. Thanks for commenting

  15. I love how you share all the little details that are basically a mirror of my own thoughts. Reading this made me miss my accupuncturist at home in Connecticut. I need to find a good place to go in Miami , but I’ve been putting it off. Thanks for the reminder!!!

    1. Hi Chelsa, I’m flattered you like the post and I’m glad it resonates! Definitely get in there for an acupuncture treatment. Let me know how you feel after? xx

  16. Im actually really curious now to read your future post about your experiences with cupping. I know a lot of us have read about people like Paltrow getting it done but not “real” people.
    Also, i am a huge fan of acupuncture. When i was in a college our veterans group would bring in someone a few times a month to do mini acupuncture sessions with us. It was weird having needles in my ear but it totally did relax me and the effects lasted for a while after…

    1. Hi Torri, yes I’m excited to share my thoughts / experience with cupping. It’s pretty intense and totally different than anything I’ve tried before. Thanks for reading and glad you like acupuncture too! xx

  17. I recently tried acupuncture and cupping for a pinched nerve in my neck which was causing excruciating pain in my arm. My experience is near identical with yours and I’m a complete believer now. When you said that the experience was addictive, I cannot agree more! I am generally a high strung, go go go type of person and have noticed that has been reduced since seeing the acupuncturist. Good luck to continued success with the therapy!

  18. I am studying naturopathic medicine and acupuncture is a part of our scope of practice. It is an incredible healing method and can treat SO many different conditions. The best part is it is always individualized to the specific patient. There is no set formula to use on everyone! Many people are afraid the needles will hurt, but they are so so thin you should hardly feel them.

    Glad you had such a good experience with acupuncture Lauryn!!

  19. I am OBSESSED with acupuncture. I haven’t been in quite some time since I’ve been so busy but honestly, that’s even more of a reason why I should get back in there. I had terrible headaches for years and “chronic knots and muscle spasms” (according to my regular doctor) in my neck – I go for acupuncture.. pain is gone. It is seriously addictive and hard to explain but I am actually craving it right now now that I am reading your article. So glad it’s helping you!!

  20. I have a Naturopath and go weekly for acupuncture. I’ve also had cupping done twice. Absolutely love both! I’m the exact same, I thought I would hate it because I’m terrified of needles, but it’s so relaxing you don’t even think about them. My mind is constantly on the go, so acupuncture is my little 30 minutes of peace. Although I still find it hard to shut off, I at least feel extremely relaxed I the process. I recommend it to everyone 🙂

  21. Hi! I had double jaw surgery last June, and I still have numbness. My surgeon didn’t cut my nerve, so they keep telling me it’ll come back and just take time. Did acupuncture help the nerve sensations return faster?

  22. Try and ear tack next time. I swear by those, they help reduce anxiety and stress and are also known to help with addiction (food, smoking, drugs and alcohol). Acupuncture is also well known for women with fertility problems. Keep it up!

  23. Hi Lauryn, I swear by acupuncture for keeping the body in balance. I love the wholistic approach; practitioners do not just treat the symptoms they treat the reason for the symptoms. I especially enjoy the sensation of energy flowing through my body. My Chinese Doctor would tell me with extraordinary accuracy the symptoms I was experiencing by checking my pulse points. I always head for acupuncture when I need a “tune up”.
    Best wishes Lauryn.

  24. This is an area that Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupressure, acupuncture, and Chinese Herbology has addressed for hundreds of years. I wrote a major book on what to do – its called, Acupressure for Lovers.
    Its not instant, it takes work on yourself and you can get help – I encourage you to start it know.

  25. Did you still have metal in your jaw after surgery? If so did this matter with having acupuncture in the places where metal still was under the skin?

  26. Love it ? ! I am Jacqueline and been in two sections already for my back Fall two time no good first one crack a Disk and second a lot of swollen so I am doing my needles for swollen! Just hoping it works definitely feel less pain but I still have some swollen will see I go every week no insurance here but is for my health so is worth it, love ❤️ !

  27. hi,my wife went for ultra sound scan.The doctor confirmed that her lymph node is swelling. Can my wife try accupunture technics for swollen lymph node? Really appreciate any comments. Thank you

  28. I’m 4 days post Orthoganathic surgery and really wanting more tips on getting the swelling down and what I can do proactively to gain feeling back. Thank you!!

  29. I’m Korean American but got a science degree in the states, so I never was huge on Eastern medicine. I’ve been fighting PTSD for 5 years and met with a dozen therapists, but eventually I hit a wall, and therapy could no longer help. I tried acupuncture and the results were truly remarkable. I am finally able to get my life back. I don’t understand how acupuncture helps a psychological condition, but it’s unbelievably effective. Can’t say everyone will have the same results.
    And yes I agree with a lot of what was said. Intensely relaxing. If I’m going through a PTSD attack (which can last up to 5 hours per attack, up to 15 hours a day), within 30 seconds of them sticking needles in my body, I feel myself calm down intensely. And after the session my attack is gone.

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